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MOTHER NIGHT

SYNOPSIS:
Howard W. Campbell Jr is a noted American writer living in pre-World War II Germany, who is pressed into service by the US government on a top-secret assignment. His mission: to assume the role of a Nazi sympathiser and gain access to the highest echelons of Hitler’s hierarchy. With his true purpose known only to a few, Campbell becomes a prominent spokesman for Hitler’s anti-American and anti-Semitic agenda, gaining celebrity in Germany and notoriety back home. A fascinating study of right and wrong as the protagonist, years later, must struggle to prove his innocence to the world - and to himself.

"This thought-provoking film presents a fascinating study of writer, Howard W. Campbell Jr, who is obsessed with notions of pure hearts and heroism, willing to sacrifice anything in the name of romance. Becoming a spy is a little like a playwright’s secret dream - to write a challenging role and play the part himself. The story begins in black and white, as Campbell waits for his trial. He is given three weeks to complete his memoirs in his bleak cell with an old European typewriter. In flash back, we are taken into Campbell’s colourful past and learn his story. There is a kind of detachment in some of the flashbacks, as though the scenes are being replayed in his mind. Nick Nolte brings a wonderfully complete and complex portrayal of Howard Campbell. He is warm and open, yet aloof and cold. He is brittle, yet vulnerable. We understand the meaning of the words: "You must be careful what you pretend to be - in the end you are what you pretend to be." The exploration of his love for his wife, his loneliness in exile, the renewed hope in friendship, the despair in betrayal… and his ultimate realisation and subsequent decision of who he is, and what price to pay, is brought to the screen with great finesse and sensitivity."
Louise Keller

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Helga and Howard W. Campbell


Nick Nolte as broadcaster Howard W. Campbell

MOTHER NIGHT (M)
(US)

 

CAST: Nick Nolte, Sheryl Lee, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Kirsten Dunst, Arye Gross, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, Bernard Behrens, Norman Rodway, Anna Berger

PRODUCER: Keith Gordon, Robert B. Weide

DIRECTOR: Keith Gordon

SCRIPT: Robert B. Weide (based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tom Richmond

EDITOR: Jay Rabinowitz

MUSIC: Michael Convertino

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Francois Sequin

RUNNING TIME: 120 mins

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 1, 1997

 







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